Posts Tagged ‘Indian Health Service’

Broken Promises

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013


Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, served in the House from 1981 to 1992 and in the Senate from 1992 to 2011. He is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

WASHINGTON — WHEN I retired in 2011 after serving 30 years in Congress, there was one set of issues I knew I could not leave behind. I donated $1 million of unused campaign funds to create the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, because our country has left a trail of broken promises to American Indians.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I once toured a school near an Indian reservation where I encountered a teacher who told me that when she asked a young Indian student what she wanted for Christmas, she said she wanted the electricity turned on in her house so she could study at night.

That type of story is all too familiar. I believe that American Indian children are the country’s most at-risk population. Too many live in third-world conditions. A few weeks ago, I traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It’s hard just to get there. A two-hour drive from Rapid City brings you to Shannon County, the second poorest county in the United States. (more…)

Tribe plans nursing home near Whiteclay

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Published Sunday March 28, 2010

The Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Tribe will build a 60-bed nursing home in Nebraska about a half mile from Whiteclay, the village infamous for the large amount of beer sold there. (more…)

8th Annual Mount Sinai Global Health Conference to screen Whiteclay documentary

Friday, January 1st, 2010

8th Annual Mount Sinai Global Health Conference
Indigenous Health
February 26 – 27, 2010
New York, New York
Register NOW for this FREE Conference!

There are an estimated 370 million indigenous peoples living in more than 70 countries worldwide. They represent a rich diversity of cultures, religions, traditions, languages and histories; yet continue to be among the world’s most marginalized population groups.

The next annual Mount Sinai Global Health Conference will showcase a range of indigenous health issues… register today and join other students, physicians, academics, activitists, and community members to learn more about the critical health issues facing indigenous groups both here in the United States and across the globe. (more…)

Gang violence grows on an Indian reservation

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Published Sunday December 13, 2009

PINE RIDGE, S.D. — Richard Wilson has been a pallbearer for at least five of his “homeboys” in the North Side Tre Tre Gangster Crips, a Sioux imitation of a notorious Denver gang.

One 15-year-old member was mauled by rivals. A 17-year-old shot himself; another, on a cocaine binge and firing wildly, was shot by the police. One died in a drunken car wreck, and another, a founder of the gang named Gaylord, was stabbed to death at 27.  (more…)

A “Historic Failure”: American Indian health care suffers

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Published Monday July 20, 2009

The president’s 2010 budget for the Indian Health Service, the organization that provides federal health services to American Indians, tops $4 billion. This includes an increase of $454 million. But Kathleen Sebelius, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the IHS, said in a June interview that that’s not enough to provide the agency with what it needs. This was after she called our efforts in American Indian healthcare a “historic failure.” (more…)

PROMISES, PROMISES: Indian health care needs unmet

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Published Sunday June 14, 2009

CROW AGENCY, Mont. – Ta’Shon Rain Little Light, a happy little girl who loved to dance and dress up in traditional American Indian clothes, had stopped eating and walking. She complained constantly to her mother that her stomach hurt.

When Stephanie Little Light took her daughter to the Indian Health Service clinic in this wind-swept and remote corner of Montana, they told her the 5-year-old was depressed.

Ta’Shon’s pain rapidly worsened and she visited the clinic about 10 more times over several months before her lung collapsed and she was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Denver. There she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, confirming the suspicions of family members. (more…)

Principle or practical: Reservation alcohol ban sparks debate

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Many say residents should decide
Published May 18, 2007

The federal prosecution of three accused bootleggers has renewed a debate over whether alcohol should be legalized on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

In a nutshell, the issue comes down to whether the tribe should stand by its alcohol ban as a matter of principle or take a practical approach and benefit from the money residents now spend buying alcohol off the reservation. (more…)

On Pine Ridge, a String of Broken Promises

Thursday, October 21st, 2004

Published Thursday, October 21, 2004

Politicians’ Talk Means Little on Troubled S.D. Reservation

PINE RIDGE, S.D. — When the president came to town, Geraldine Blue Bird was lucky enough to be living in a four-room shack with 28 other people.

Had she been better off, President Bill Clinton’s 1999 summer “poverty tour” to the Oglala Lakota Sioux reservation might have overlooked her house among all the other cabins and trailers doing hard time in her neighborhood. But even in the poorest patch of the poorest place in the country, the Blue Bird residence stood out. (more…)